Wellington Rubber Boot Company:A History Of Expansion
Although the Wellington Rubber Boot Company originally only manufactured shoes and rubber boots and the like, it quickly grew to produce all manner of rubber products and rubber related items. These rubber products and items included assorted rubber products such as automobile tires, combs, rubber water bottles, golf balls, conveyor belts and even rubber-based flooring, just to name a few. But nothing sold nearly as well as the Wellington rubber boot, the flagship product of the rubber boot manufacturer.
Initially the Wellington rubber type boot was manufactured in limited numbers, as there was limited understanding of the benefits inherent in owning a pair of rubber boots, but production received a dramatic boost with the onset of the first World War, as the North British Rubber Company initially was hired by the staff of the United Kingdom Office of War to produce a sturdy and waterproof boot that was suitable and practical for the squalid conditions in the flooded trenches on the battlefields of France and Belgium. The plant ran around the clock, all day and all night to manufacture enough quantities of the rubber trench boots to supply the British army. In total, nearly 1.2 million individual pairs of Wellington boots were eventually made in order to help cope with the British army's needs. What was once considered a fashionable and elegant boot had become a practical and functional military necessity in a world of war.
The Wellington Rubber Boot Company made another important contribution to the British army during the second World War. At nearly the onset of war, early in 1939, all most 80% of the comprehensive Wellington Rubber Boot Company manufacturing was comprised of the necessary materials for war, destined for the fight against Germany and Axis forces. The amount of material produced was immense, including rubber sheets for the ground, bomb covers, life belts, gas resist masks and the ubiquitous Wellington type boots. While large-scale trench warfare generally was really not a concern in World War II the Wellington was still called upon to play an important role. Allied forces that were unlucky enough to be assigned the difficult task of finding and working in Holland while clearing the area of the Axis forces had the unenviable task of working in badly flooded conditions. Once again the North British Rubber Company, later renamed the Wellington Rubber Boot Company, was required to equip massive amount of the Wellington style boots as well as thigh boots to the military war effort.
By the time the end of the second world war came around, the Wellington was overwhelmingly popular among children, women and men alike for use in wet or inclement weather, a common risk in much of Europe. The Wellington boot had developed to become much roomier than it's predecessor with a thicker sole and more round ended toe. Also, considering the tremendous rationing that occurred during war time laborers were constantly forced to use the Wellington for nearly daily efforts at work.
In 1946, literally struggling with their success, the Wellington Rubber Boot Company expanded, purchasing manufacturing premises in Dumfriesshire to add to the corporation's massive Scotland production capability. The factory was originally the site of automobile and general aeronautical use engines manufacturing company Arrold Johnston, and the Arrold Johnston motor car was produced at the site until it was shut down.
The tremendous success and expansion of the Wellington Rubber Boot Company, once known as The North British Rubber Company, continues into the modern day, and is still one of the most popular boots ever manufactured and sold in Europe.